Funding Boost to tackle sticky issue of chewing gum

LSSL & LCC are set to team up and target gum littering this summer from a number of key hotspots, thanks to a grant of £25,000 from the UK’s Chewing Gum Task Force.

This is the first application that we have made for this type of initiative to tackle chewing gum removal , after Sarah Coan, LSSL Street Cleansing City Centre Manager and Gemma Neal, LCC Streetscene Team Leader placed a collaborative bid to secure the funding. It will enable us to work together to target gum in places of high footfall and areas of significant visitor importance, such as the city centre and around the city’s two football stadia.

We currently remove chewing gum litter manually which is inefficient and time consuming. Having the resource to remove this mechanically will be more efficient and effective and would allow for both the financial savings and extra capacity to be reinvested into environmental services, such as increased cleansing in other areas of the city. The team are now in a position to address the problem in the following two stages;
Reduce – This will be via an education process, taken on by LCC Streetscene team. Officers will work with local businesses and schools to explain the environmental and economic impact that discarded chewing gum has on the local environment.
Remove – To remove the chewing gum using investment in new specialist machinery . Working with LSSL Street Cleansing and some established businesses, the programme will run over 4 months.

The Task Force, established by Defra and administered by Keep Britain Tidy, is funded by major gum manufacturers including Mars Wrigley and Perfetti Van Melle with £1.2m distributed to 56 local authorities.

Chewing gum removal will now be added to a list of environmental promises that the Council pledge to achieve in the next 5 years will become part of the city’s environmental aspirations and have equal ranking with general litter removal.